Friday, January 20, 2012

Types of Flour

Types Of Flour

Looking to experiment with different types of flour? It’s important to learn what properties the different types of flour have so your recipes will turn out right. This practical guide will help you learn the basics about the different types of flour so you’ll understand what qualities each type of flour has.

All-purpose Flour

  • Commonly found as “bleached flour”
  • Also can be purchased as unbleached all-purpose flour (the bleach prevents spoiling)
  • Used for cookies, crusts, pancakes, and pastries
  • Low density
  • Low fiber
  • High gluten content
Whole Wheat Flour
  • Higher in fiber than bleached all-purpose
  • Not as high in gluten
  • Often mixed with all-purpose flour for recipes
  • Increases density of recipes
Bread Flour
  • High is gluten
  • Milled from hard wheat
  • High in protein
  • Good for recipes involving yeast
Cake Flour
  • Low gluten level
  • Used for cakes and cookies and delicate recipes
  • Used in recipes where end product will be tender or fragile
Semolina Flour
  • High protein
  • Unbleached
  • Used to make pasta
Durum Flour
  • Very high protein
  • Very little starch
  • Stretches easily
  • Used for making pasta
Gluten Flour
  • White flour plus wheat proteins
  • High gluten content
  • Used to make pizza dough or bagels
Corn Flour
  • Made from corn, ground finer than corn meal
  • Works well in pancakes or waffles
  • High fat
  • If degerminated, it will be lower fat
Rye Flour
  • Gluten free
  • Very dense
Buckwheat Flour
  • Gluten free
  • Very little structure
  • Used in pancakes
Potato Flour
  • Hygroscopic (it absorbs water instead of drying out)
  • Slows spoiling or staling of breads
  • Keeps bread products moist
  • Gluten free
  • Often used as a thickener for gravies or dishes in place of flour
Tapioca Flour
  • Lend a chewy denseness to recipes
  • Great for white bread recipes
  • Derived from cassava root
Soy Flour
  • Nutty flavor
  • High protein
  • High fat
  • Works well in brownie recipes
Rice Flour
  • Available as white or brown rice flour
  • Bland flavor
  • Gluten free
  • Brown rice flour is more nutritious than white rice flour

Sometimes you can substitute one type of a flour (or a combination of flours) for another in a recipe. However, you should keep in mind that you’re always taking a risk when substituting one type of flour with another in recipes. When baking with gluten-free flours, you’ll need to add a thickener such as xanthan gum or guar gum – you’ll usually only need a tablespoon or so to do the trick. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and give it a try (or talk to someone who has successfully substitutes flour types in the past). This guide will help you understand what types of flour may work best for certain types of recipes, but it won’t replace a recipe that has been tested.


  1. Interesting post - I like to experiment with different types of flour
    Mary x

  2. Very informative Shirley.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :)



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